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Home > Wines > Port Wines > Vintages

Vintages

  • 2011
    Winter was rainy, mainly in December, and Spring was hot and dry. Summer was cool and dry except on two occasions at the end of August, beginning of September. Early September was cool but registered above average maximum air temperatures. The wines are deep in colour with intense aromas and some elegance. In the mouth, they are fresh (good acidity) and well-structured. These wines have the classic character of a good Vintage year with some refinement and the hallmarks of great longevity. When compared to the two previous Vintage declarations, they are less elegant but more potent and structured than the 2007s and less rustic than the 2003s.
  • 2007
    November and February were particularly rainy; above average rainfall was registered again in may and especially June, mainly in the Upper Douro.
    Between May and August, the temperatures were below average, especially in the Upper Douro. Although the viticultural year began with vineyard diseases, the warm August temperatures and a dry and hot September resulted in balanced grapes. Wines with excellent quality, elegant, with fine structure and velvety tannins. The biggest Vintage declaration to date.
  • 2003
    Normal rainy winter. Dry spring. Normal season temperatures except for the end of July and beginning of August (45º during the day and 30º at night). Harvest under abnormally high temperatures. Full-bodied wines with tannins that grant them a good aging potential. Exceptional quality.
  • 2000
    Dry winter, with 15/40% less rain. Hot February and March, rain in April and May. Some rain from June to August. Slow maturation: harvest delayed for two weeks. In September, temperatures around 40º. Excellent quality Wines, compact and appealing even when new, fruit very evident.
  • 1997
    Atypical year. Dry winter with a hot February. Rainy spring and cold May. Long summer, hot and dry. Wines full of tannins, some of them of excellent quality.
  • 1994
    A “monumental” vintage, even more intense than that of 1992, with tannins and fruit concentration. According to James Suckling from the American magazine Wine Spectator, which back in 1997 attributed the highest rating (100 points) to the Taylor and da Fonseca Vintages, as well as first place among the hundred best wines of that year, “Great Vintage Ports as the ones from this year come around only a few times in a lifetime “. A general declaration. Excellent weather, harvests under ideal conditions, with perfect grapes.
  • 1992
    Exceptional vintage, with tannins and fruit concentrations.
  • 1991
    Excellent vintage, harmonious and rich. Hot and dry summer, with only a few light rains at the beginning of September. Harvest under ideal conditions.
  • 1989
    Very hot summer. Premature harvest, under ideal climatic conditions. Some excellent wines.
  • 1987
    Very dry winter and spring. Slow maturation. Very hot and dry summer. Premature harvest, at the beginning of September. It was not a Vintage year, because of the low production. Few producers declared production, although there were several single-quinta wines. Very fine and fruity wines.
  • 1985
    Wines with a very fine aroma. Exceptional quality. A classic Vintage, with intense aromas and a firm structure in fruit and tannins. Almost all producers declared production. Excellent weather. Cold start to winter, but warm February and March. Some rain in spring and normal temperatures until summer. A very hot June, followed by a normal summer. Harvest under perfect conditions.
  • 1983
    Dry winter and rainy weather during most of spring. Poor blooming in many vineyards. Abnormally cold year, including in August. Hot September. Late and perfect harvest. Some exceptional Vintages. Some producers did not declare production, because they opted to declare the previous year, even though 1983 is considered to be the best year by several oenophiles. Rich in tannins, very aromatic and with a strong aging capacity.
  • 1982
    Very dry year. Cold winter. Good blooming. Very hot summer. One the most premature harvests. Weak production, but with good quality. Delicate and elegant wines, with a large concentration of aroma. Many producers declared production.
  • 1980
    Dry winter. Poor blooming under rainy and cold weather, but the summer was hot and dry, with rains only at the end of September, before the harvests. Exceptional quality, but lower quantity than normal. Deep purple and fruity wines. Almost all producers declared production.
  • 1978
    After a spring with very bad weather, a long and hot summer propitiated some good wines. Ten Single Quinta Vintage wines were declared, among them the first producer’s Vintage (Quinta do Infantado), bottled in Douro.
  • 1977
    A classic Vintage. Deep purple and fruity wines, rich in tannins, with a good aging capacity. Almost all producers declared production. Cold and rain in the first months of the year. Late blooming and slow maturation. Moderate summer, but very hot September.
  • 1975
    First Vintage to be declared after the April 1974 Revolution. Fist Vintage totally bottled in Portugal, under legal resolution. After a rainy winter, it was a hot and dry year, particularly in the summer. Some rain at the beginning of September, before the harvest. Late harvest, at the beginning of October. Scarce production. Almost all producers declared production, although few wines proved to be exceptional, revealing themselves to be less lasting than was expected.
  • 1970
    An exceptional quality Vintage, with great fruit and tannin harmony, ensuring longevity. Almost all producers declared production. A lot of rain in January and February, followed by a cold and dry March. The weather started to become hot in April, favouring good blooming and grape maturity. Rain in August and at the beginning of September, but the harvest was made under dry and very hot weather, with the temperature reaching 45¨C in certain areas. Very mature wines.
  • 1967
    Abnormally cold year at the beginning of winter, with temperatures under 0° C. Late and scarce blooming. Hot summer, with some thunderstorms. Late harvest, under good conditions. Some excellent wines were produced, sweet and fruity, declared by a small number of producers.
  • 1966
    Exceptional quality. Very sweet wines and rich in tannins, some of them sublime, with large aging capacity. Almost all producers declared production. Normal winter, with some rain, but afterwards the weather became dry between April and September. Grapes with a high sugar level, some of them burned. It only rained slightly at the beginning of the harvest (end of September). Scarce production.
  • 1963
    A classic Vintage, intense and balanced, deep-purple, fruity and with a large aging capacity. “An apotheosis of Vintage”, as Chantal Lecouty said. Almost all producers declared production. Large production. Normal winter and cold rainy spring, but with good weather when blooming. Hot and dry summer. It only drizzled just before the harvests. During the harvest (end of September), perfect weather, with very hot days and cool nights.
  • 1960
    Excellent quality, with sweet and elegant wines, with a good structure and much colour and body. Almost all companies declared production. Very hot year and premature maturity. The harvests started in the second week of September, initially with hot weather but with drizzling rain and cold after 24 September, which harmed the later harvests.
  • 1958
    Notwithstanding the year’s humidity, there were some excellent wines, with very fine aroma and flavour. After a cold and rainy summer, the beginning of October was very hot and the harvests were held under perfect conditions. Some companies did not declare production because of the proximity of the excellent 1955Vintage.
  • 1955
    Excellent quality. Harmonious wines, full-bodied, deep-purple and very fruity. Almost all producers declared production. Rainy winter. Hot summer.
  • 1950
    A delicate and sweet wine. It was called “the ladies’ vintage”. Cold summer. Late harvests, but under perfect weather conditions.
  • 1948
    A classic Vintage. Hot year. Harvest under very hot weather (reaching 45° C). Many dried and very sweet grapes, at Cima Corgo, so much so that it was difficult to control fermentation in some cases. Low quantity. Very sweet and full-bodied wine. Suckling says it is one of those “magic wines”, made to last one hundred years or more.
  • 1947
    Exceptional Vintage, elegant and very fine. Year with ideal weather conditions. Production was larger than expected.
  • 1945
    Classic Vintage, full-bodied, deep purple and sweet, with a large concentration of fruit and tannins. First post-War Vintage. Bottled in Portugal, owing to English restrictions. Almost all producers declared production. Low production year. Dry year, with a very hot summer, and only a few rains at the end of August. Early harvests, starting in the first half of September.
  • 1942
    Excellent quality, elegant and fruity. First Vintage bottled exclusively in Portugal, due to the War. Scarce production.
  • 1935
    A classic Vintage, but some producers did not declare production because of having declared it in the previous year (example of a “split Vintage”). A harmonious wine, rich in fruity aromas and rich in tannins. Dry winter, Abnormally cold spring, with some frosts. Late blooming and fructification. Irregular summer, but the harvest occurred under ideal conditions. In 1937, Sandeman bottled its entire 1935 Vintage, simultaneously celebrating the George V (1935) Jubilee and the Coronation of George VI (1937), with two allusive medallions engraved on the bottles.
  • 1934
    Exceptional quality, mature and fruity, despite being a year of unstable weather. Dry winter, rainy spring. Late blooming and fructification. A very hot July. Some rain in September. A late harvest at the beginning of October, with ideal weather.
  • 1931
    An exceptional novelty, one of the best of the century, with wines rich in fruity aromas and tannins, with a great capacity for aging. However, few houses declared production, owing to the international crisis which sparked a reduction in the demand for expensive wines; many stocks of excellent 1927 vintage were yet to be sold. The Vintage prize awarded to Noval with the designation of National must be highlighted, considered by the American magazine Wine Spectator in 1999 to be one of the 12 best wines in the world from the 20th Century. Winter was very dry and summer was exceptionally cold and dry, including August. In September, the temperature rose and some rain fell. A late harvest, at the end of September, under ideal weather conditions. Despite the irregularity of the weather, some notable wines were produced.
  • 1927
    A classic, one of the best Vintages of the century, deep purple, with a great concentration and balance of aromas. It was also one of the largest harvests ever. The rain which fell at the end of September was beneficial. A late harvest, at the start of October, in very hot weather. Very mature grapes some burnt ones. All the exporters declared production, producing quantities greater than the usual. Exported in 1929, this wine coincided with the Great Depression, and the traders in London had difficulty in selling it. Part of it was used, in London, to create blends of common Port wines.
  • 1924
    Excellent vintage, deep purple, with good body and aroma. Almost all the large export houses declared production. Exceptionally cold summer. Some rain in September, but the harvests occurred at the end of that month in good weather. Scarce production.
  • 1922
    Excellent vintage in terms of colour, body and strength, very delicate. Almost all the large export houses declared production. Late harvest in early October, with good weather.
  • 1920
    An excellent Vintage, very elegant, balanced, fruity. The first Vintage after the Great War. Almost all companies declared production. A spring with bad weather. A very cold, rainy and thundery April, with an outbreak of mildew in June. Late harvest, in early October, after a warm summer. Scarce novelty.
  • 1917
    A great Vintage, rich in aromas and tannins, full-bodied and with much colour. Many companies declared production. Others failed to do so because of the wartime situation. A late spring and a very hot and dry summer, with some rain only in September. Late harvest in the second week of October, under ideal weather conditions. Some burnt grapes. A good year in quality and quantity.
  • 1912
    A classic Vintage, full-bodied, with a concentration and harmony of fruits and tannins. Almost all companies declared production. An exceptional year in terms of both quality and quantity.
  • 1911
    A great Off-Vintage: Sandeman separately declared the “Vintage Coronation” in commemoration of the ascension of George V to the throne. An exception in a generally weak year. According to Ernest Cockburn, this Sandeman Vintage “shall be remembered for a long time as an example of everything that is superior in Vintage Port”. A late harvest in October, under intense heat, after some torrential rainfall at the end of September. Very mature grapes, in some areas of the Cimo Corgo reaching more than 16º, but some of which were already raisins or even rotten. Few good wines, with much colour, body and sweetness.
  • 1908
    A great Vintage, delicate, balanced, deep purple and full-bodied, very mature and with a traditional aroma of “roasted coffee”. All companies declared production. A cold winter, a very hot spring and summer, especially at harvest time (late September), so much so that some producers experienced problems in controlling the fermentation of the must.
  • 1904
    “An elegant Vintage” and a fruity one, though not deep purple. All companies declared production. Owing to the difficulty in finding brandy in Portugal, many wines were fortified with German brandy and alcohol from cereals or potatoes. A dry year, with light rains in mid-September which were beneficial as they cooled the grapes. The harvests were carried out immediately after the rains, in good weather. Very mature grapes. Highly abundant harvest.
  • 1900
    A great Vintage, in terms of quality and quantity. Delicate and harmonious wines though with less colour and body than the more famous Vintages. Almost all companies declared production. Late harvest, in late September and early October, with good weather after a few days of rain.
  • 1897
    Excellent vintage, of notable colour and taste, according to some oenophiles better than that of 1896, but few companies declared production, having produced Vintage the previous year. The first harvests were carried out in very hot weather, producing very quick fermentation at some wine-presses. Then the weather freshened and the quality of the must improved. According to Warner Allen, the best 1896 wines had some 97 added on. There was a dearth of brandy to benefit the wines. Alcohol and brandy was imported from Iceland, Denmark and Germany. Sandeman strengthened its Vintage 97, considered to be legendary, with Scotch Whisky.
  • 1896
    An exceptional vintage. All companies declared production. Rather immature mature wines at the time of harvest (which began early, in the first half of September), with less colour and body than is usual in a great novelty. However, they developed surprisingly well when bottled.
  • 1894
    Good wines, but in small quantities. Many vines were attacked by mildew. Many companies declared production. Difficulties in finding brandy. Some wines were strengthened with brandy from the Azores, but the best ones continued to use Douro brandy. Hot and dry summer, with some rain at the end of September. Late harvests at the beginning of October, under ideal weather
  • 1892
    Some good wines, but in small quantities. Many companies declared production. Difficulties in finding brandy. Some wines were strengthened with brandy from the Azores. Hot and dry summer. Vary mature grapes, so much so that some wine-presses experienced difficulties in controlling fermentation.
  • 1890
    Some good Vintages, somewhat light and dry. Could have been better if the vintage had been delayed. Heat wave at the beginning of September, followed by rains during the middle of the month, but the harvests took place under perfect weather conditions. Scarce production. Many companies declared production.
  • 1887
    “Queen Victoria’s Jubilee” Vintage, hot summer, vintages took place under ideal conditions, with warm days and cool nights. All companies declared production. Some considered this to be one of the best years of the 19th Century, comparable to 1834. Scarce production.
  • 1884
    Some great Vintages. Many companies declared production. A very hot July. Rain at the end of August caused a large amount of “rot”. Late harvest. The wines proved to be better than expected. Scarce production due to phylloxera.
  • 1881
    Wines which promised to become excellent when they were bottled, but many of which proved to be a disappointment. Many companies declared production. Several exporters considered that, due to phylloxera, no more Vintage would be produced in future.
  • 1878
    Exceptional Vintage, very delicate. All companies declared production. Still very good in 1978, according to Ben Howkins. In July, according to Ernest Cockburn, news from the Douro was alarming, there being the anticipation of a late and very small vintage due to phylloxera. Unstable weather in July and August, but the harvests, begun in mid-September, took place in excellent weather. However, at Cima Corgo, very scarce production, half that of the previous year. Many landlords decided not to cultivate their vines.
  • 1875
    Good Vintages, delicate and elegant, somewhat dry, but which proved to be beneath the expectations, maturing quickly. All companies declared production. Hot and dry summer. Grapes that were almost raisins, with large sugar content. Scarce production due to the rapid advance of phylloxera.
  • 1873
    Great Vintage, with characteristics of sweetness. Almost all companies declared production. Late harvest, in ideal weather conditions.
  • 1872
    Excellent Vintage, with very delicate and rich wines that proved to be better than was initially expected. Many companies declared production and others did not because they chose to give privilege to the previous year.
  • 1870
    Great Vintage, very delicate and full-bodied, comparable to that of 1834, according to some traders. All companies declared. Scarce production.
  • 1868
    One of the most delicate Vintages of the 19th Century, very rich and strong. A very hot year. In August the grapes appeared to be burnt and the year seemed a write-off. But a light rain that fell before the harvest saved the production. All companies declared production.
  • 1865
    Some rather good wines. Many companies declared production.
  • 1863
    A great Vintage, one of the best years in the history of Port, according to Ernest Cockburn. A very hot year until the end of August. All companies declared production.
  • 1861
    Some very good wines.
  • 1860
    A year with good wines.
  • 1858
    One of the great Vintages of the 19th Century, very full-bodied. An early harvest, at the beginning of September.
  • 1854
    Some very good wines.
  • 1853
    A very rainy year, with no spring. Bad blooming and Oidium. But on the more rugged slopes, some very delicate wine was produced.
  • 1851
    Excellent vintage, very delicate, comparable to the 1820 novelty, according to Forrester.
  • 1850
    Some good wines.
  • 1847
    Great Vintage. Late harvest
  • 1844
    Delicate wine, excellent novelty.
  • 1842
    Excellent wines. “A great demand for full-bodied, sweet and colourful wines“, according to Forrester.
  • 1840
    A great Vintage. “Generally pure and dry wines”, very delicate, according to Forrester.
  • 1834
    A famous Vintage, very delicate, one of the best of the 19th Century.
  • 1830
    Some excellent wines.
  • 1827
    Some very good wines.
  • 1822
    Some good wines, comparable to the ones of the 1821 novelty, but only in places where the grapes were gathered early.
  • 1821
    Excellent Vintage in terms of quality and quantity. The Company’s “Annual Judgement” considers that “the aforementioned novelty has maturity, a good aroma and taste, and that it comes close to the bygone year of 1820, with which it is compared, though with somewhat less colour, and maturity; however, there are casks of wine of even greater quality than the aforementioned past Novelty …”
  • 1820
    An “excellent novelty… in which all wines were naturally (and unusually) full, sweet and tasty” (Forrester), but little quantity.
  • 1815
    “Waterloo Port”, one of the great Vintages of the 19th Century. A Vintage sensation at the great International Exhibitions of the second half of the 19th Century, it was still sold during the 1930s.
  • 1812
    Excellent wines, “very delicate”
  • 1811
    “Comet” Vintage. A very “sterile” and war-torn year.
  • 1810
    Some very good wines, with a delicate aroma and flavour, but light-bodied.
  • 1806
    Excellent Vintage.
  • 1802
    Some very good wines.
  • 1798
    High quality wines, according to some opinions better than the ones of 1786, but Henderson considers the wine of this year as being “very bad”.
  • 1797
    Henderson considers the wine from this year to be “very bad, Tawny” but, according to the Annual Company Judgement, it was of reasonable quality. Year of large production, with some exceptional wines. In 1809, during the French invasions, during dinner with Wellington in Torres Vedras, G. Sandeman referred to this wine as being “the finest of them all”. One of the guests, General Calvert, asked Sandeman to send to him in England two barrels of that wine, one of them to offer to the Duque of York, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. Since then, the Sandeman 1797 wine became known as the “Duke of York Port”.
  • 1796
    Good novelty.
  • 1790
    Some very good wine. According to Sandeman, it was the first Vintage bottled by George Sandeman in 1792, coinciding with the start of company activities in London. By the end of the 19th Century, bottles of this novelty wine were still being sold. Scarce production.
  • 1786
    Very delicate wines. Scarce production.
  • 1784
    Good quality wines. Scarce production, although the Company’s Annual Judgement declared an “abundant year”.
  • 1781
    Some very good wines.
  • 1780
    Considered to be a good year, both in quality and in quantity, although inferior to the excellent vintage of the previous year.
  • 1779
    According to the annual judgement issued by the Company, a wine of “superior quality" that “can rarely be found”. Large production.
  • 1775
    Unusual Vintage, very delicate, resembling the one from 1765. According to some English authors, this was the first wine from the Douro exported to England worthy of claiming the title of true "Vintage Port".
  • 1765
    Year of excellent quality. “Memorable” wine. First Vintage to be shown in a Christie’s catalogue, in 1768.
  • 1756
    Good quality wines, in contrast to the awful new ones of previous years. By the end of the 19th Century (1896), the northern Portuguese wine-growing company “Companhia Vinícola do Norte de Portugal” had bottles with this wine for sale, belonging to its private wine-cellar.
 
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